Blagojevich Indicted

Blagojevich Indictment

Impeached and disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was indicted today on 16 counts of Federal Corruption. Several of Blago’s cronies were also named as defendants in the indictment handed down today.

A good day for Illinois! Again?

See documents for full details.

It’s Unanimous! Blago is Out, Quinn is In

Blagojevich Impeachment

After a last ditch attempt by Impeached Illinois Governor Blagojevich, the Illinois State Senate has voted unanimously (59-0) to remove the Governor from office. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn becomes the new Governor by Illinois law and is expected to be sworn in later today. The State Senate also voted 59-0 to bar the former Governor from ever holding public office in Illinois again.

“He failed the test of character. He is beneath the dignity of the state of Illinois. He is no longer worthy to be our governor,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Republican from suburban Chicago.

The four day trial was boycotted by the embattled former governor until today when he made a futile attempt at a closing statement, although he refused to answer questions.

Today puts a head on the “Pay to Play” politics that has become a way of life in Illinois, Chicago and indeed national politics. Illinoisans has spoken through their elected officials and the Constitution and took the rare steps to remove a corrupt official from office. Let this be a loud and clear message to the rest of the politicians, locally and nationally, who continue or consider the use of their office for personal gain and unethical practices.

Blagojevich Impeached!

In an historic first for Illinoisians, lawmakers today voted 114-1 to impeach the embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The governor was charged with corruption in December of last year, and has focused the nation’s attention on the “pay to play” scandals plaguing Chicago and our great state. Notably due to the charge of Blago attempting to sell President-elect Obama’s vacant senate seat. The seat has since been appointed to former Illinois Atty general, Roland Burris creating even more controversy.

What I really want to know (and hopefully find out soon), who that one lawmaker was that voted against impeaching the disgraced governor.

Here is the 69-page draft report outlineing criminal charges against gov. Rod Blagojevich. Charges list his alleged plan to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama, withholding of state funds for the sale of Wrigley Field if Chicago Tribune editorial writers were not fired, and the shake down of Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Questions Remain

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People’s Seat

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Fallout of the Blagojevich Arrest and Investigation

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Illinois politics is about to receive a face-lift. The fallout from the recent investigation and arrest of Governor Blagojevich will be widespread and have long lasting effects. First to feel the blast of course is the corrupt Governor himself, affectionately known as Blago. He will surely be joining his predecessor for a few years at the Federal Country Club for Corrupt Illinois Politicians. Not to mention our other governors and elected officials that we entrusted with positions of leadership. We in Chicago now have another record to add to our repertoire. In addition to being the highest taxed in the nation, we are the most corrupt city and state in the Union. We put more politicians in jail than we do drug dealers in Illinois.

Well, we are done! The tax paying and voting citizens are finished supporting politicians involved in “Pay to Play” schemes. Gone are the days of complacent constituentswho think and say, “That’s just the way it’s done here”.  For those less than ethical officials in office now, be warned, we are watching your every move. For those considering office, also take heed, you will be scrutinized like no other candidate has.

Many are prediciting an indictment will soon follow for democratic congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr. for his alleged $500,000 offer for the senate seat left vacant by Obama, via an “emmisary”. An emmisary that he denies was sent by or even known to him. Considered a front runner for the senate seat, he had a very good chance and great public opinion followed him. In a press conference, he announced that he was not a target of this investigation and was involved in no wrongdoing. Jackson was thought by many to have  an untarnished record and was an upcoming politician, successfully distancing himself from his father’s way of playing politics. Jackson, Jr. is now one of the central players in Blagojevich “Pay to Play” for a senate seat debacle.

Now the nation’s eyes are upon us. With President-Elect Obama’s senate seat being one of the focus points of the Blagojevich investigation, certain questions are already arising about what he and/or his ad visors knew. Mentioned in the criminal complaint that lead to the Governor’s arrest, are three advisors based in Washington, D.C. Just who are “Advisor A”,  “Advisor B”, and “President-Elect Advisor”?

The Obama transition team will be tested with a scandal even before the President-Elect is inaugurated. There is some speculation that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s pick for Chief of Staff, is one of them. Other reports are saying that one of the advisors is David Alexrod. No matter who the advisors are, they will be outed soon and it will be interesting to see how the Obama team distances itself from the President-Elect’s home state’s turmoil.

I predict that Illinois politics will see major upheavals and sweeping changes over the next few years. We are through being embarrassed and bullied by our elected officials. Democratic and Republican strongholds alike, will see sweeping moves by voters to replace even suspect incumbents, and elect only those candidates of the highest moral character and ethics. Out with politicians like Lisa Madigan, Jackson, Emil Jones, Stroger, and yes, Dick Daley too. We need leaders that will truly work for the Illinois taxpayer, and fight to up-root the embedded system of “Pay to Play” politics, family favors, and the cronyism that has strangled the taxpayers of Chicago and the State of Illinois for decades.

Mystery Candidates of the Blagojevich Complaint

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This is a concise list of the undisclosed senate candidates mentioned in the complaint against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Some of these “mystery players” have already admitted their contact with the embattled governor. Others are some “best guess” opinions based on what research I have done. None of these candidates have been accused of any wrongdoing.

Senate Candidate #1
Valerie Jarrett
Obama’s choice to fill his seat. Advisor A and B were negotiating for this choice.

Senate Candidate #2
Lisa Madigan
Leaked to Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun Times to put pressure for Obama’s choice.

Senate Candidate #3
Jan Schakowsky
She speculates herself that she may be #3.

Senate Candidate #4
Deputy Governor Louanner Peters
Blagojevich considered this person “loyal” enough to give up the senate seat to him should impeachment be imminent.

Senate Candidate #5
Jesse Jackson Jr.
Announced at press conference the he is #5. Denies any wrongdoing.

Senate Candidate #6
J.B. Pritzker
Sneed “leaked” this name on Nov. 28,  as being on a short list for the senate seat.
or
Blair Hull
Former Senate candidate who lost to Obama. Huge Blagojevich contributor. Has had several questionable links to the governor.

Criminal Complaint: U.S. v. Rod R. Blagojevich and John Harris

Blagojevich and the Illinois Conundrum

blagojevichToday, in a “not so surprising” move the F.B.I. arrested Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on federal corruption charges. What was unexpected, was the news that he was trying to sell the senate seat that Barack Obama left vacant to prepare for the presidency. The governor was taken into custody at his home, on charges of seeking bribes in exchange for Barack Obama’s former senate seat. The arrest of the Governor and his Chief of Staff, John Harris has sparked a storm of controversy, questions, and calls for the governor to resign or be impeached. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has also called for special elections to fill the vacant senate seat.

“The General Assembly should enact a law as quickly as possible calling for a special election to fill the Senate vacancy of Barack Obama. No appointment by this governor could produce a credible replacement,” the Senator said.

Lt. Governor Pat. Quinn called for the Governor to resign today saying, “Do the right thing and step aside”.  Lt. Gov. Quinn would succeed Blagojevich as governor, should he resign or be impeached.

Blagojevich’s arrest not only raises credibility concerns over who will take the senate seat. It challenges the credibility of anyone who has ever had dealings with the governor. This includes all of the Senate hopefuls like Lisa Madigan and Jesse Jackson Jr. the  Lt. Governor Pat Quinn,  Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and the current president elect, Mr. Obama himself, and his advisers. The Obama transition team denies having any discussions with Blagojevich about the senate seat for sale, and in fact some of the evidence against Blagojevich suggests that the Obama team was not going to “Pay to Play” this senate game with him.

However, Senior Obama adviser Axelrod said on November 23rd, “I know he’s [Obama] talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them.” It is thought that Obama would have liked to see Valerie Jarrett take his former seat.

This begs the question, “How did Blagojevich know that Obama or his advisers would not play, and why was he so angry about it”?  The governer was secretly taped on Nov. 11 saying, “I don’t get anything [for appointing Jarrett], “Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him!”

See court complaint documents in this post

I am sure that in the coming days we will be learning more about who knew what and when. We will also witness the political wrangling and finger pointing that is common in Illinois. No doubt we will also see Blagojevich lie all the way to big house and try to hold on to his job proclaiming his innocence. I am also sure that  impeachment proceedings will follow by the end of this week if there is no resignation.

In question of course is, who will now appoint Obama’s replacement in the Senate and how will that appointment be perceived in Illinois. Any appointment by Blagojevich or Quinn is suspect in my opinion. I agree with Senator Durbin (can you believe it), that a special election must be held to avoid any perception of corruption or the same old Illinois politics. 

A special election also gives rise to the chance a Republican can take that senate seat and, given the current state of affairs, that canidate might just have a chance to win in the Democratic stronghold of Illinois and Chicago.

I have heard it said, that Illinoisians like their officials to be corrupt. Well maybe that’s true in Crook county and in Springfield, but I think it’s about time we restructure our leadership. People in this state are sick of the corruption and pay to play politics that is bleeding our state dry. It’s time for new ethical leadership in the Governors office, and in all of our represenatives and elected officials. The time to act is now. The time for ethical reform in the State of Illinois has never been more important and more obvious.

GMA: The Elite 6, Sarah Palin’s Closest Friends

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Good Morning America featured an interview by ABC’s Lisa Fletcher of several of the Vice Presidential nominee’s closest friends self-dubbed the “Elite 6”, which includes Sarah and five other Alaskan moms.

I think this video speaks volumes of what type of person Sarh Palin is in her personal life. Her friends say she “lives on caffine and white chocolate, hates cats, and is as honest as the day is long”.

This video was originally titled “3 of 4 Friends Won’t Admit Voting for Palin.” Of course, what would one expect on You Tube? I couldn’t find another one just yet so, I thought I’d correct the perspective on this one by reposting it here. Just ignore all the liberal propaganda garbage at the end.

What I find most admirable and telling about Sarah is the diversity of her inner circle of friends. Two the four women interviewed are are pro-choice. One admits to never voting for a republican in a presidential election. Another states that she will be voting for McCain and Palin, while the others are undecided or at least want to keep their decision personal. I wonder if Obama’s inner circle includes any pro-lifers or Republicans?

They all seem very happy to see thier good friend as John McCain’s running mate and cherish thier diversity.